Common Dreams, the website for breaking news and views for the Progressive Community, recently had words of high praise for both Senator Bernie Sanders and the millions of people who supported his message of revolutionary politics,:real change that will make a difference in real Americans’ lives, not just the same old, business as usual, status quo politics dressed up as something new to deceive voters on yet another go around, like Donald Trump’s vague “Make America Great Again” slogan or Hillary Clinton’s riff on Obama’s “Forward” motif from 2012 (they should have left off the “D” and made it “For War” for both of them).
No there is something different in American politics happening in the millions-strong movement to elect Senator Bernie Sanders to the White House. As Common Dreams notes in its article, a wide range of political polls are all showing that Bernie Sanders is currently the most popular and well-liked politician in the United States. His candidacy for the Oval Office touched off a progressive firestorm of activism across the country. In response to this seemingly-out-of-nowhere popularity, the old party stalwarts of the establishment have belittled, rebuked, and fought this nascent movement tooth and nail.
One example of the establishment media trying to hold Bernie Sanders’ movement down was called out in the Common Dreams piece, an article published by Politico at the end of may claiming that Sanders’ revolution has struggled to actually deliver electoral victories and “capture the actual levers of power.”
David Siders, the article’s author, cites a few examples to build the narrative of the article, mentioning the recent losses of Sanders-supported political candidates in 2017 special elections around the country like: Heath Mello’s mayoral bid in Omaha and the special congressional elections of Rob Quist in Montana and James Thompson in Kansas. But Siders gives no context for these elections, neglecting to mention that these were grassroots campaigns, in deeply red Republican stronghold districts, with no matching funds from the DNC to battle the Republican Party’s war chest for these elections.
No national trend can be realistically extrapolated from this handful of predictable Republican wins to the political destiny of the millions of people who voted for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and those among them who are politically active for the cause.
Then Siders downplayed the other side of things, brushing off “Berniecrat” Christine Pellegrino’s victory in a typically Republican New York Assembly district as low-profile. He’s forgetting that this is how change gets started. The last president of the United States started in the state legislature of a decidedly high-profile state as well. This not a ceiling on the Bernie-inspired political revolution… it’s the floor. Bernie’s supporters are just getting started.
On Our Revolution’s website, the victories in elections and ballot initiatives in fact outnumbers the losses, a fact entirely ignored by the Politico article. These electoral victories include Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim woman to win public office, Larry Krasner for Philadelphia’s District Attorney, and 23 different ballot initiatives.
While Sanders backed candidates and causes have suffered losses, the political revolution that coalesced around his message is not a lost cause. The establishment wishes!